Floor-plans for top-security Belgium buildings accidentally published

Detailed floor plans of Belgian prisons, courthouses and the new high-security home for the European Council were accidentally published online by Belgium’s Federal Buildings Agency, a media report said on Saturday.

According to Flemish language newspaper De Morgen, many documents appeared on the agency’s website and could be easily found using a search engine, before the newspaper alerted the organisation and the files have since been removed, Xinhua said.

The documents include detailed plans of the Residence Palace, a new secure building in Brussels’s European district which will house the European Council, “where leaders such as Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Francois Hollande will meet”, De Morgen said.

Also published online were plans of European schools, where children of European officials study.

One 144-page document freely available to view online included details of security measures at the Brussels central courthouse, the newspaper said.

There were also floor plans for regional prisons in the Belgian towns of Dendermonde, Ypres, Eupen, Leuven and Tournai.

“In times of terror threat, it is hard to believe that the floor plans of several large prisons and courthouses in the country were just up for grabs on the internet,” the newspaper noted.

The documents dated from 2012 to this year, the newspaper said. “Each has a wealth of information for those with criminal or terrorist intent.”

“How effective the information would be, in the wrong hands, is not clear. The fact is that the site was available to find with a simple search,” it added.

Johan Vanderborght, spokesman for the Federal Buildings Agency, said their information technology officials will analyse what happened, according to the report.

The agency manages 1,200 buildings owned by the Belgian federal government, totalling 7.5 million square metres, according to its website.